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Billionaire Warren Buffett still has plenty of confidence in the American economy, according to his annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders.
Berkshire Hathaway, the conglomerate of which Buffett is CEO and chairman of the board, reported a $65.3 billion gain in net worth in 2017, bolstered largely by the sweeping tax code rewrite pushed through Congress at the end of the year. Buffett details in his annual letter the many business activities that led to that gain — including, he writes, investments in American companies, which helped Berkshire's non-insurance businesses realize a $950 million gain in pre-tax income over 2016.
"Almost 90% of our investments are made in the United States," Buffett writes in the letter to shareholders. "America’s economic soil remains fertile."
Buffett acknowledges in the annual letter, which was published on Saturday, that the economy is volatile, and that the markets "occasionally do crazy things." But the overarching tone of his annual comments was one of a patient confidence in the U.S. economy, and the possibilities it holds for investors of all classes.
That message was encapsulated as Buffett reflected back to decisions he made in 2012.
At the time, he wrote, he knew that, "as has been the case since 1776 – whatever its problems of the minute, the American economy was going to move forward."